Pulse Polio Immunisation

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is a viral paralytic disease. The causative agent, a virus called poliovirus (PV), enters the body orally, infecting the intestinal wall. It may proceed to the blood stream and into the central nervous system leading to muscle weakness and often paralysis.

The National Polio Surveillance Project is a collaborative project of Govt. of India & the World Health Organization and managed by the latter. Currently a team of more than 250 Surveillance Medical Officer (SMO), Sub-Regional Coordinator (SRC) and Regional Coordinator (RC) are spread across the country who comprise the field staff of project. They are supported by a network of 9 Polio National Laboratories, which undertake the Virological Investigation of AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) cases. The National Polio Surveillance Unit (NPSU) provides logistical & technical backup to the field staff.

Pulse Polio immunization programme were conducted on April 9 and May 21 in India. Around 30 lakh children, below the age of five years in the State of Kerala, were administered oral polio vaccine as part of the programme. 23,572 booths have been prepared across the State for the purpose. About 50,000 trained health volunteers helped with the administration of the oral vaccine. Booths were set up at the railway stations, bus stands and the airports for the convenience of those who might be traveling. Mobile polio booths were also arranged. Visit http://www.polioeradication.org/ for further information on Polio.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to work as a Surveillance Medical Officer (Independent District Monitors on behalf of WHO) for the region of Neyyattinkara. It consists of the blocks of Parassala, Athiyannoor, Perunkadavila and Vellarada. 1st day : 21 - 5 - 2006Booth Monitoring. I could monitor about 31 booths and in addition 3 transit booths. 2nd day : 22 - 5 - 2006House to house monitoringIn Athiyannoor and Perunkadavila blocks 3rd day : 23 - 5 - 2006House to house monitoringIn Parassala and Vellarada blocks 4th day : 24 - 5 - 2006Street and transit site monitoring and interview of children The experience I got from this monitoring activity was really an eye opener for me. The whole exercise was so well coordinated even in the limited facilites available. The magnitude of the work done and the selflessness of the volunteers was something to be appreciated.

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